by John Walters
Mask Not What Your Country Can Do For You
This week’s cover of Time features an Italian anesthesiologist. Here are men and women going to work each day not only trying to save lives but putting their own lives at risk by doing so. Is there anything more heroic?
The MSNBC prime-time crew has been doing a good job of featuring doctors and nurses this week. Spreading a little positive news. You can only bang the drum of what miserable and wretched persons the President and his sycophants are for so long, so good for them.
The Ideas That Won’t Survive The Coronavirus
It’s like this. When my old college pal Andre suggests a book or an article (or even an appetizer), I’m going to try it. His taste is that impeccable and his wisdom is unimpeachable. So Andre suggested to me overnight this Op-Ed from The New York Times, penned by Viet Thanh Nguyen who, yes, is American. He’s also the author of The Refugees, which Andre tells me is a fantastic book so add that to the reading list as soon as I finish the Vampire Academy series.
Having read the piece, I must say (“must say” presages a statement in which I will give myself credit, seemingly reluctantly, but c’mon…) it parrots many of the thoughts expressed in this blog the past month. It induces me to harken back to yesterday’s CNBC “Halftime Report” interview with Chamath Palihapitiya, in which he also expressed similar thoughts on this topic. I remember Josh Brown disagreeing with him, saying it’s better to give money to large corporations, adding, “I don’t necessarily like it, but that’s the way it is.”
And in that moment I wanted to jump through the television screen and shake Josh, a wealthy Long Island boy with a head for numbers who probably has a second house in the Hamptons, at the very least a summer rental. I wanted to say, “You’re a guy with a daily platform nearly on ‘America’s Business Channel.’ If there’s something you honestly don’t like about America’s capitalist class structure and how it marginalizes all but the wealthy, who has a better opportunity than you do to stand up and say so?” But he didn’t.
Read the Op-Ed. Nguyen is correct.
So we watched about one hour of Woody Allen’s Manhattan last night before clicking it off because it was mostly not funny and also a cry for help. Allen’s character, Isaac Davis, is 42 and dating a 17 year-old. It’s not a perverse infatuation. They’re sleeping together. The character, played by Mar
gaux iel Hemingway, is constantly telling Isaac (again, this is Woody Allen we’re talking about) how great he is in bed. Ewwww!
Meanwhile, Davis is cheating on her with Diane Keaton, whom we met because she’s the mistress of his best friend. We’re not exactly Puritans, but give us someone to root for, please.
The two moments we’ll remember that we liked: 1) When Woody’ character says, “I think people should mate for life… like pigeons or Catholics.”
2) The other, at a party at MOMA, the subject of Nazis organizing in New Jersey comes up. Allen, whose character is a writer, asks, “Has anybody read that Nazis are gonna march in New Jersey? Y’know, I read this in the newspaper. We should go down there, get some guys together, y’know, get some bricks and baseball bats and really explain things to them.“
A pedantic literary pal replies, “There is this devastating satirical piece on that on the Op Ed page of the Times, it is devastating.”
Allen/Davis: “Well, a satirical piece in the Times is one thing, but bricks and baseball bats really gets right to the point.“
Why H-O-R-S-E Will Be a B-O-R-E
ESPN is planning a H-O-R-S-E competition between NBA stars in order to help us get our sports fix in this time of athletic famine. It’s better than nothing, I suppose, but not much.
Here’s how I succinctly try to explain the difference between competition and sport: Stand two people next to one another and have them each shoot at targets 30 yards away (like that early scene in Winchester ’73 for you film buffs). That’s a competition. Now take the same two people and have them stand 30 yards away and shoot at one another (like the climactic scene from Winchester ’73, involving the same two men). That’s sport.
The year (almost) nothing happened. No college football games are played the entire season, the only year between 1869 and 2019 in which this happens (Will 2020 be a repeat of 1871?). The British Open does not take place due to a hosting controversy and the Harvard-Yale regatta is also called off. Mike McCoole, the American boxing champion, takes the year off as well.
The biggest sports news? The FA Cup is staged for the first time, with 15 clubs participating. The only club involved that presently exists under the same name in the Premier League is Crystal Palace. The tournament kicks off on November 11 and Wanderers (from London) will win it come March.